Cristiano Ronaldo marked his return to the Portugal starting line-up with a brace as Fernando Santos’ side comfortably defeated Switzerland 4-0 to claim their first win of the Nations League campaign.
Ronaldo - who was on the bench for the 1-1 draw with Spain on Thursday - scored twice in four first-half minutes after William Carvalho gave the hosts an early lead. Joao Cancelo put the gloss on a convincing display with his side's fourth after the restart.
Switzerland had the ball in the back of the net first, but Haris Seferovic’s goal was chalked off after VAR spotted a handball in the build-up.
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Their joy turned to dismay just minutes later as Carvalho gave Portugal their opener, the Real Betis midfielder on hand to slot into an empty net after Switzerland goalkeeper Gregor Kobel could only parry Ronaldo’s free-kick into his path.
The opener shifted the momentum overwhelmingly in Portugal’s favour as the hosts took control, with Ronaldo doubling the advantage with a first-time shot from a fine Diogo Jota assist.
The Manchester United forward was in the right place to make it 3-0 just moments later for his 117th international goal, and he spurned a golden opportunity to make it a seven-minute hat-trick when he failed to hit the target from point-blank range.
All eyes were on Ronaldo as he searched for his treble, but it was Manchester City’s Cancelo who brought up Portugal’s fourth following a clever pass from his club team mate Bernardo Silva.
Ronaldo was preparing himself to take a penalty when the referee pointed to the spot after Nuno Mendes was fouled, but VAR overturned the decision, and despite his best efforts the 37-year-old failed to register again on the scoresheet, with Dortmund shot-stopper at full-stretch to keep out his excellent free-kick.
After two games, Portugal have four points, level with Czech Republic who were pegged back late by Spain in a 2-2 draw. Switzerland are yet to get off the mark.

TALKING POINT - Are Portugal contenders for the Nations League?

On this evidence, an emphatic yes. After grinding out a most impressive draw away to neighbours Spain, Santos took the handbrake off and was awarded with a thrilling display from his attacking trident. Ronaldo was at the centre of it all, of course, but his Manchester United team mate Bruno Fernandes and Liverpool’s Jota more than played their part as the Swiss defence was ran ragged.
The win puts Portugal in a favourable position early on, and although a home match against Czech Republic on Thursday could be tricky you would fancy them to find a way to win. Another meeting with Switzerland then follows later this month – win that and there’s every chance Portugal – the tournament's 2019 winners - could have top spot in the group all but sewn up by the time Spain visit Lisbon on September 27.
AS IT HAPPENED

MAN OF THE MATCH - Joao Cancelo (Portugal)

Ronaldo will take the headlines - and perhaps rightly so after his goalscoring exploits - but Cancelo was the best player on the pitch with his driving runs down the flank and devastating crosses to match, topped off with an expertly-taken goal.

PLAYER RATINGS

Portugal: Rui Patricio 6, Cancelo 9*, Pepe 6, Danilo 6, Mendes 8, Otavio 8, Carvalho 8, Neves 7, Ronaldo 9, Jota 8, Fernandes 8.. subs: Horta 5, Silva 7, Palhinha N/A, Leao N/A, Nunes N/A
Switzerland: Kobel 5, Mbabu 4, Frei 4, Schar 5, Rodriguez 5, Sow 4, Xhaka 5, Steffen 5, Shaqiri 4, Lotamba 5, Seferovic 5.. subs: Okafor 5, Embolo 5, Freuler 5, Bottani 5, Gavranovic N/A

KEY MOMENTS

15’ - GOAL! PORTUGAL 1-0 SWITZERLAND (WILLIAM CARVALHO): Portugal have the lead on 15 minutes! Ronaldo's low free-kick takes a deflection, Kobel does well to make the save but can only parry it into the path of Carvalho and he's left with a simple tap-in.
35’ - GOAL! PORTUGAL 2-0 SWITZERLAND (CRISTIANO RONALDO): Who else? Ronaldo has his goal as Portugal double their advantage on the counter-attack. Fernandes has no right to win a hopeful ball over the top but he does and keeps it alive, finding Jota. He looks up and spots the run of Ronaldo who powers a first-time shot past a hapless Kobel.
39’ - GOAL! PORTUGAL 3-0 SWITZERLAND (CRISTIANO RONALDO): That man again as Portugal threaten to completely run away with this! Mendes gets in behind on the left, Jota takes over and when he sees his shot blocked by Kobel, wouldn't you know Ronaldo would be in the right place to tuck home the rebound for his 117th international goal.

68’ - GOAL! PORTUGAL 4-0 SWITZERLAND (JOAO CANCELO): The Man City team mates combine as Portugal make it 4-0. With his first touch since he was introduced, Silva plays a clever forward pass for Cancelo and he takes a touch to knock it past the onrushing Kobel before slotting it into an empty net.
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